Omaha Public Library to host “The Vietnam War” film screening as part of ALA grant

Omaha Public Library (OPL) has been selected by the American Library Association (ALA) and WETA (Washington, DC’s public television affiliate), to receive a programming kit for “The Vietnam War,” a 10-part documentary film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick that began airing on PBS stations on Sept. 17.

In “The Vietnam War,” filmmakers Burns and Novick tell the epic story of the conflict as it has never before been told on film. The film features testimony from nearly 80 witnesses, including many Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as Vietnamese combatants and civilians from both the winning and losing sides.

As part of the grant, OPL will host the following events.

  • Saturday, October 21, 1 p.m. at Willa Cather Branch (1905 S. 44th St., 402-444-4851) and Tuesday, November 28, 1 p.m. at Milton R. Abrahams Branch (5111 N. 90th St., 402-444-6284). “My Vietnam Experience” will be presented by Retired Lt. Col. Jeff Flagg, who will share memories, photos and memorabilia from his tours of duty in Vietnam. Veterans are especially welcome, and are invited to bring their own mementos and stories to share. Representatives from the University of Nebraska Omaha Criss Library, a Vietnam War Commemorative Partner, will be present at the Willa Cather Branch event to award commemorative lapel pins to Vietnam veterans in attendance to thank them for their service. Refreshments will be served.
  • Sunday, October 22, 2 p.m. at W. Dale Clark Main Library (215 S. 15th St., 402-444-4800). University of Nebraska – Lincoln history lecturer Thomas Berg will present, “Beverly Deepe Keever: An Unconventional Woman for An Unconventional War.” In her book "Death Zones and Darling Spies," Beverly Deepe Keever champions women as capable war correspondents and trounces the misconception that the American press "lost" the war. Berg will discuss Keever's exploration of the war's poorly understood and under-appreciated earliest years, and how she demonstrates that the president and his advisers—by hubris, ignorance, and choice—missed significant opportunities to understand and fight the war. Pertinent clips from the film "The Vietnam War” will be shown. Refreshments will be served. This program is sponsored by Humanities Nebraska.
  •  Thursday, November 30, 6:30 p.m. at Milton R. Abrahams Branch. Highlights of Burns and Novick’s “The Vietnam War” will be shown and refreshments will be served.

OPL was one of 50 U.S. public libraries selected to receive this programming kit through a peer-reviewed competitive application process. More than 350 libraries applied, according to ALA. View the list of selected libraries. OPL received a copy of the 18-hour documentary series on DVD, with public performance rights; the companion book, “The Vietnam War: An Intimate History” by Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns; and more. The kit is designed to help libraries participate in a national conversation about one of the most consequential, divisive and controversial events in American history.

The project is offered by the ALA Public Programs Office in partnership with WETA Washington, DC.

Visit omahalibrary.org for more information on these and additional events and resources at Omaha Public Library’s 12 locations.